The Gluten-Free Guide To Philly: Restaurants, Tips, & More | Philly Views
February 7, 2018

The Gluten-Free Guide To Philly: Restaurants, Tips, & More

Written by Alexis Rogers


Even with its cheesesteak and hoagie rep, Philadelphia is filled with plenty of gluten-free options.

People with gluten sensitivity in Philly don’t have to skip happy hour for dinner at home or miss restaurant week, as long as they do a little research beforehand.

Philly Views spoke with several people who eat gluten-free to find out about their daily food choices, and we discovered that our city is very amenable to those who eat gluten-free. 

First we’ll take you through some of the top dietary options recommended by local gluten-free eaters, then we’ll go through the Philadelphia restaurants, bars, and shops that focus on gluten-free foods.

 

Tips for Eating Gluten Free in Philadelphia

Gluten-Free Breakfast

Try eating yogurt (make sure to check labels), fruit and a handful of gluten-free granola or cereal for a little crunch. KIND granola is particularly good and not too sugary. Plus, most Philadelphia grocery stores have it in stock. 

If you have the time to make them, omelettes should also be staple, loaded with veggies of course. If you’re eating at a restaurant, be sure to inquire about sausage or any cold cuts, as occasionally flour is used as a binder. Bacon and potatoes are usually perfect on the side, but when dining out, check to be sure potatoes aren’t dusted in flour. 

 

Gluten-Free Lunch

Salads are a good go-to. Try to mix up proteins and veggies to keep it interesting. There are many great gluten-free dressing options to try out so you don’t have to be married to oil and vinegar. To add some crunch, use nuts, tortilla strips, or puffed quinoa.

When dining out in a restaurant, a lettuce wrapped burger or sandwich is perfect. Again, just double check for any meat or veggies that are braised in beer and be mindful of shared fryers if you are very sensitive. Another thing to watch out for is meatballs or meatloaf with breadcrumbs. Never guess what you’re eating—always ask when you are ordering from a restaurant. 

 

Gluten-Free Dinners

Usually the boring recipe of protein, veggies, and potatoes or rice works well. It doesn’t have to be bland, though. Add some variety to the seasoning to keep it exciting and flavorful.  Zucchini or other veggie noodles are also a lot of fun and you can put your favorite sauces on them. It might sound limiting, but there’s a ton you can do with this if you’re creative. 

 

Gluten-Free Snacks

Fruit, nuts and gluten-free snack bars are good go-tos during the day for work. For dessert, the easiest swaps are ice creams and puddings (check labels), pots de creme and creme brulee. As far as cakes go, some Italian varieties of cake and cookies are made with almond or chestnut flours to begin with. Also, most macarons and macaroons are naturally gluten-free.

Bonus: Some food blogs that can help with this are Clean Eating With a Dirty Mind, The Urban Poser, Gluten Free on a Shoestring, and A Girl Defloured.

Let’s get to gluten-free Philly.

Some of these Philadelphia restaurants have menus that accommodate a gluten-free diet, and some are 100 percent gluten-free. As most of you reading already know, it never hurts to call ahead and ask about gluten-free menu options. And, even if the restaurant is gluten-free-friendly, make sure to let your waiter or waitress know about your dietary restriction.

Ok, now we’re ready.

 

These Are The Best Restaurants To Eat Gluten-Free in Philadelphia

 

Amada

217-219 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 625-2450

Amada was founded in 2005 by Chef Jose Garces, an Iron Chef Champion. Located in Old City, this restaurant is known for its tapas and wine. Chef Garces is from Ecuador and uses his background to create Spanish dishes. Some gluten-free menu items include lamb chops, tuna, and lobster paella.

 

Aldine

1901 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
(215) 454-6529

The food at Aldine is crafted by Chef & Owner George Sabatino. It serves brunch and has an a la carte dinner menu with three courses. Options include beets, broccoli, and duck breast.

 

 El Vez

121 South 13th Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19107
215-928-9800

Inspired by Tijuana, Mexico, El Vez has a bright and fun atmosphere. Their menu includes Mexican classics such as Carne Asada, Corn Tortillas, and Black Beans & Rice. And don’t forget about their extensive selection of tequila and margaritas. El Vez serves brunch, lunch, and dinner.

 

Zavino

3200 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215.823.6897

112 S 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215.732.2400

If you are craving pizza but aren’t sure where to get it gluten-free, Zavino is the place. There is an option to get a gluten-free crust so you can enjoy any menu item without worry. The Rosa is served with crushed tomato, oregano, garlic, and olive oil. It is the perfect combination for someone seeking a traditional style pizza. If you want something a little more unique, try the butternut squash pizza served with buffalo mozzarella, butternut squash, caramelized red onions, pepitas, and sage. Zavino also serves salads, meats and cheeses, and small plates such as spaghetti squash and stuffed olives.

http://www.instagram.com/p/Bck9oHmA1sv/?taken-by=zavinopizzeria

 

Any Garces Restaurant (Ask for the Gluten Free Menu)

Aside from owning Amada, Chef Jose Garces owns a variety of other restaurants throughout Philadelphia. His restaurants include 24, Buena Onda, Distrito, Garces Trading Company, J.G. Domestic, The Olde Bar, Tinto, Village Whiskey, and Volvér. Make sure to ask for a gluten-free menu at any of these establishments.

 

Any STARR Restaurant (Ask for a Gluten Free Menu)

Some of these restaurants include Alma de Cuba, Continental, Buddakan, The Dandelion, Butcher and Singer, El Rey, and Parc.

 

Double Knot

121 South 13th Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19107
215-928-9800

Double Knot has it all: coffee, a matcha bar, a traditional bar, and food.  For lunch (served from 10 am to 3 pm), you can create a plate by choosing your own meat and base, which include options like salad and rice. The evening menu includes items such as sashimi, ceviche, and chicken. Almost all menu items can be prepared gluten-free.

 

Puyero

524 S 4th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 928-4584

Puyero Venezuelan Flavor is gluten-free, with the exception of their tequeños and desserts. You can enjoy arepas, cachapas, and patacones without leaving Philly. The flavorful, authentic food is guaranteed to make your taste buds dance.

 

High Point Cafe

Multiple Locations:

7210 Cresheim Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19119
(215) 248-1900

602 Carpenter Ln
Philadelphia, PA 19119
(215) 849-5153

1925 Fairmount Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130

High Point Cafe arrived in Philadelphia in 2005. Each location serves custom roasted coffee, crepes, and a wide variety of treats. And the best part about High Point is that they have a completely separate, celiac-safe kitchen where they make gluten-free pastries. Aside from their cafes, they also catering options.

 

Rex 1516

1516 South St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19146
(267) 319-1366

Rex 1516 is the perfect place to grab a bite because it has an entire gluten-free menu for brunch and dinner. The food is inspired by Southern cuisine, so you’re always likely to find smoked wings, spare ribs, and catfish on the menu.

 

Sampan

124 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA  19125
(215) 732-3501

Located in Center City, this trendy restaurant specializes in Asian cuisine. Sampan has a gluten-free menu option, so you can still enjoy your favorite dishes like peking duck and kimchi fried rice without worry. It also has the open-air Graffiti Bar  that is open all year round. You can still enjoy some of your favorite foods and drinks in this alternate space while admiring the mural painted on the wall.

 

Abe Fisher

1623 Sansom St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

(215) 867-0088

The restaurant is well known for its small plates inspired by Jewish cuisine.  Some of the dishes that you will find on the menu are chicken liver mousse, smoked beef tongue, and pickled mackerel dip.

 

Goldie Falafel

1526 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(267) 239-0777

Falafel, falafel, and more falafel. That’s been the main focus at this Israeli restaurant since it first opened in 2008. It has a limited menu with variations of falafel including salad, fries, and tehina shakes. Goldie Falafel is kosher and vegan. If you want to get the falafel bar delivered straight to your door, you can find them on Caviar.

 

Whetstone Tavern

700 S 5th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
(267) 239-0906

Whetstone Tavern serves brunch/lunch on Saturday and Sundays from 10am to 3pm. For brunch, you’ll find items on the menu like omelettes, steak and eggs, and duck confit and butternut squash hash. It also serves dinner, where you can choose to eat in the tavern room or the dining room. Both rooms have separate menus. The tavern menu includes items like the Whetstone salad and Brussels. On the dining room menu, you can find broccoli salad and lamb neck.

 

Southwark

701 S 4th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
(267) 930-8538

Southwark reopened in 2016 after some minor renovations and a change in management. It uses local ingredients so that the food is fresh and the business can support local farmers. Southwark is well known for its cocktails. There is a dinner and dessert menu, as well as a late-night menu, served until 1 am. Aside from local ingredients, the bar also uses local and handcrafted products.

 

Ela

627 S. 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 687-8512

Ela opened in 2011 under Chef Jason Cichonski. It serves brunch, dinner, and bar bites as well as an extensive wine, beer, and cocktail list. Some items that you may find on their menu include market yysters, 3 springs apple salad, and baked Icelandic cod. Be sure to check out its website for weekly specials. Ela also hosts private events and provides off-site catering.

 

Ambra

705 S. 4th St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
(267) 858-9232

Ambra serves American-Italian dishes in the 16-seat restaurant. Its typical menu has four courses with two options for each course and changes along with the seasons.

Anise scented duck, nebrodini mushroom, parsnip and cipollini onion.

A post shared by Ambra Restaurant (@ambraphilly) on

 

Will BYOB

911 E Passyunk Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 271-7683

Will BYOB opened in 2012 by Chef Chris Kearse. Prior to starting his own business, he worked at Lacroix, Blackfish, and Pumpkin. This restaurant serves French cuisine. The menu is always changing, and the team is dedicated to using the freshest ingredients possible.

 

Vedge

1221 Locust Street
Philadephia, PA 19107
(215) 320-7500

Vedge first opened in 2012 and is known as “A Vegetable Restaurant.” So while it is both vegetarian and vegan, the goal is to appeal to all types of diets, including meat-eaters. It has dishes such as stuffed avocado, fancy radishes, and shaved Tokyo turnips.

 

V Street

126 S 19th Street
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 278-7943

The food at V Street is inspired by various ethnicities, and everything is vegan. Some examples of items on the menu are grilled broccoli and Za’atar Brussels sprouts salad.

 

Lacroix

210 W Rittenhouse Square
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
(215) 790-2533

Located at The Rittenhouse Hotel, Lacroix provides an elegant dining experience for guests. In addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can also enjoy afternoon tea in the Mary Cassatt Tea Room. Lacroix hosts private events, as well as a special reservation called the Chef’s table. This experience provides a seat only a few feet away from where your food is being prepared and a menu with up to 12 courses.

 

Le Virtu

1927 East Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 271-5626

Le Virtu is an Italian restaurant with a seasonal menu. Some of the gluten-free menu items include Vellutata di Zucca, Cif e ciaf, and Burrata.

 

Brigantessa

1520 E. Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 218-7341

Brigantessa brings Southern Italian cuisine to Philadelphia. Don’t forget to inquire about gluten-free pasta so you can enjoy some delicious favorites while staying within your dietary restrictions.

 

Jaxon BYOB

701 N 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 922-2621

Located in Northern Liberties, this small corner restaurant has a menu that changes seasonally. Jaxon BYOB serves both small and large plates. Some options from the menu include Endive salad, Stone Sea Bass, and Mushroom Tartine.

 

Hip City Vedge

Multiple locations:

121 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(267) 296-9001

127 S 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 278-7605

214 S 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(267) 244-4342

With 3 locations throughout Philadelphia, Hip City Vedge is a great place to grab a vegan burger, sandwich, or salad. The menu has some gluten-free options, as well as the flexibility to make other items gluten-free.

 

Cheu Fishtown

1416 Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(267) 758-2269

Cheu Fishtown serves Asian-inspired cuisine such as coconut curry ramen with rice noodles and miso pork loco moco. The gluten-free items are specified with a symbol on the menu so you can be sure. Cheu Fishtown can be found on Caviar, so the food can be delivered straight to your door.

 

Charlie was a sinner

131 S. 13th Street
Philadephia, PA 19107
(267) 758 – 5372

The menu is vegan and includes a variety of gluten-free options, such as charred Brussels sprouts and roasted cauliflower steak. If you have a sweet tooth after your meal, be sure to ask your waiter or waitress about the daily selection of sorbet flavors.

 

Estia

1405-07 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 735-7700

This authentic Greek and Mediterranean restaurant has an entire gluten-free dinner menu. This menu includes octopus, grilled calamari, and Lavraki. Aside from the food, this place has a selection of over 300 wines from Greece, Israel, Lebanon, and Europe. Estia also hosts large group anywhere from 6 to 180 people.

 

Kensington Quarters

1310 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19125
(267) 314-5086

Kensington Quarters was Established in 2014. It support local farmers in order to serve the freshest food possible. This restaurant serves brunch, lunch, and dinner. Some possibilities for your order include Mixed Grill, wood oven roasted Brussels sprouts, and grilled swordfish.

 

Bing Bing Dim Sum

1648 E Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 279-7702

Many of the menu items at Bing Bing Dim Sum are gluten-free and can be identified with a symbol on their menu. They serve various types of dim sum and rice, such as Scarlet Dumplings and Land & Sea Fried Rice. Bing Bing Dim Sum is on Caviar, so you can enjoy their food in the comfort of your own home.

 

Taffet’s Bakery

1024 South 9th Street
Philadelphia PA 19147
(215) 551-5511

Taffet’s Bakery was inspired by the owner’s mother, who developed a gluten sensitivity. Taffet’s provides all of your favorite bakery treats without the gluten. Some of their delicacies include challah bread, different types of bagels, and biscotti. Taffet’s also delivers to homes in Philadephia and has recently been Kosher certified. The baguette comes highly recommended.

 

Sweet Freedom Bakery

1424 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 545-1899

If you have food allergies, then Sweet Freedom Bakery is the place to go. Not only are its products gluten-free and dairy-free, but they are also vegan, egg-free, soy-free, corn-free, peanut-free, refined-sugar free, and kosher. Some of the sweet treats baked there include cupcakes, donuts, muffins, and cakes. Sweet Freedom bakery is also on Caviar, so you can get something delivered to your door for those late night cravings.

 

Pure Fare

119 S 21st St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(267) 318-7441

Established in 2010, Pure Fare is 100 percent gluten-free. It aims to serve fresh, healthy, and flavorful food. It has a made-to-order breakfast menu, salads, sandwiches, and pre-made entrees. Aside from food, Pure Fare also has juices and smoothies.

 

Townsend

1623 East Passyunk Ave.,
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(267) 639-3203

Chef Townsend Wentz provides guest at this restaurant with an elegant selection of French cuisine. The menu included items such as poached lobster, roasted organic chicken, and escargot and Brussels sprouts “Mange Tout.”

 

Agno Grill(100% GF)

2104 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(267) 858-4590

Agno Grill serves Mediterranean food that is healthy but will also leave you feeling happy. In Greek, “agno” means pure. The goal is to serve pure food with great taste.

 

Barcelona Wine Bar

1709 East Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 515-7900

Get a taste of Mediterranean, South American, and Spanish cuisine at Barcelona Wine Bar. It specializes in Tapas, which include pork belly, sweet potatoes, and steamed mussels. Other options include salads and larger portions to share with your friends. Barcelona also has about 400 wines to choose from.

 

Sweetgreen

Multiple Locations:

3925 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 386-1365

924 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 454-6770

1601 Market St,
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 447-7200

This chain restaurant first opened in 2007 with the goal of providing food that was healthy and simple. Sweetgreen is committed to providing food that is locally-sourced and in-season. The majority of their menu is gluten-free. Some items include salads, warm bowls, and the option to create your own meal where you can mix and match bases, other ingredients, and a dressing. All bases are gluten-free.

 

Honeygrow

Multiple locations:

110 S 16th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102
(215) 279-7724

15 S 11th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
(215) 845-5592

Temple University
1601 N Broad St
Morgan Hall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122
(215) 279-7823

University of Penn
3731 Walnut St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
(215) 222-0400

Honeygrow originated in Philadelphia in 2012 and has now spread to NYC, Washington, DC, and Chicago. All of the food is locally-sourced, and there isn’t even have a freezer in the restaurants because the food is fresh. Honeygrow’s goal is to nourish clients with the healthiest food possible, while still making it taste great. The menu includes stir fry, salads, and a honey bar. Gluten-free items are indicated on the menu.

 

Real Food Eatery

207 S. 16th
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 608-8941

Real Food Eatery is 100 percent gluten-free. Here you have the option to choose from a menu item (soups, bowls, or salads ), or create your own plate or bowl. You can choose from 1 entree, 1 base, and 2 sides. If you are looking for something sweet after your entree, Real Food also has gluten-free desserts.

 

Veda

1920 Chestnut St,
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(267) 519-2001

A large portion of the menu at Veda is gluten-free, so you can enjoy traditional Indian dishes with ease. Some items you will find on the menu include Punjabi Curry Chicken, Onion Pakora, and Saag Paneer.

 

Fox & Son Fancy Corn Dogs

51 N 12th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
(215) 372-7935

Located in the Reading Terminal Market, Fox & Son Fancy Corn Dogs is 100 percent gluten-free. Not only can you enjoy a variety of corn dogs, but it also serves fries and funnel cakes. Some of their items can be made to accommodate a vegan diet. Even better, Fox & Son Corn Dogs is on Caviar.

3 Comments

Hello, do you mind adding Fox and Son Fancy Corn Dogs to this list? The entire restaurant is 100% gluten free. Thanks!

Thank you for this list! There’s a few on here I wasn’t aware of. You might want to add Monsu (https://www.monsuphilly.com/) — the owner has several family members with celiac so the restaurant is very accommodating. You can also get amazing sandwiches there at lunch using Taffet’s bread.

Paesano’s on Girard has gluten-free rolls – Perfect for the sandwich-loving gluten-free member of your family.

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